Volume 16 / No. 20   |  October 31, 2016
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
end of the month.
All rights reserved.

Typhoon Karen aftermath
Umali seeks declaration of
state of calamity

Governor Czarina Umali asked for the declaration of state of calamity in Nueva Ecija last October 17 after Typhoon Karen destroyed over P1 billion worth of rice crops.

Umali said the destruction wrought by the typhoon affected the government's effort to increase rice production.

Dr. Abraham Pascua, spokesperson of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council headed by the governor, said aside from rice, also destroyed were P87.7 million worth of vegetables and other high value crops.

Several roads in the province were closed to all types of vehicles due to flooding or mudslides.

Pascua identified these as the Pinagpanaan-Rizal-Pantabangan Road, Pantabangan-Canili-Basal-Baler Road, Laur-Gabaldon Road in Barangay Calabasa, Bongabon-Laur-Gabaldon Road in Barangay San Vicente, Palayan-Bongabon Road in Barangay Sapang Buho and Palayan-Laur Road in Barangay Sagana.

The province recorded a typhoon fatality, 60-year old Heidi Maulino of Barangay General Luna, Llanera whose house was crushed by a falling tree at the height of the typhoon last October 16.

Some 228 families or 900 residents from different municipalities were evacuated to safer places prior to the arrival of the typhoon.

Umali suspended classes in all levels in public and private schools and work in government offices because of the critical water levels of Upper Pampanga Rkver in the Laur-Bongabon-Gabaldon areas, Santor River, Peñaranda River and other waterways in Talugtog and Cuyapo.

In Cabanatuan City, Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara praised private establishments which offered help to city residents.

Among these were WalterMart, Puregold and  Save More.

Vergara cited Save More for lending a power generator mounted on a truck for use by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office. ###

Laur mayor asks DPWH to help repair dike

Laur Mayor Alexander Dauz has asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to help in the speedy repair of the P6.5 million dike in Barangay San Vicente which was damaged by Typhoons Karen and Lawin, to protect lives and properties in the area.

Dauz also told Secretary Mark Villar of the possible collusion of DWPH field men, certain officials of the Nueva Ecija Provincial Engineering Office and the contractor that resulted in the poor quality of the dike.that was built to protect Barangays San Vicente, San Fernando and Siclong.

He said the project was finished last September but was unable to hold the water that flowed down the mountains at the height of Karen and Lawin, resulting in neck-deep floodwater covering some 100 hectares of rice farms in San Vicente.

Records show that the Provincial Engineering Office set aside P9.5 million additional budget from the calamity fund to repair the damaged 300-meter structure and the addition of another 100 meters to make the dike more useful.

Dauz claimed that the contractor cut the labor cost from P600 per laborer to only P400 resulting in the poor quality of work.

He said the project was estimated to cost P2.5 million only because "gabion" was used -- a practical engineering and construction technique of piling boulders and shielding them with a net to prevent scouring -- so the mayor is wondering where P6.5 million of the project's budget went.

The mayor also chided the Provincial Engineering Office for not coordinating with the local government before undertaking the project. ###

Gapan councilor, driver shot dead

Gapan City Councilor Sonny San Jose and his driver were shot dead inside a fighting cock farm in Barangay Mangino last October 19.

The opposition councilor and his driver, Antonio Punzal, were inside the Mini-Game Fowl Farm owned by Roel Francisco when motorcycle-riding gunmen entered the compound and repeatedly shot the victims who died on the spot.

Supt. Peter Madria, city police commander, said the people in the vicinity initially thought that the suspects were policemen out to arrest someone.

One suspect first shot Punzal, sending people at the scene running for cover. The gunman then ran after San Jose and repeatedly fired at him.

Madria said the gunman was quoted as saying "Not all women you can belittle or trample upon" while firing at the councilor at close range.

He said the motives being investigated are politics, love triangle and business rivalry.

The councilor's elder brother, Lauro San Jose, said authorities should exert utmost efforts  to find the killers and charge them in court.

In an affidavit executed at the Gapan police, Lauro said his brother had told him that Gapan City Mayor Emerson Pascual and his father Rodrigo threatened him with harm verbally and through text messages.

He said his brother could barely sleep because of the many death threats received allegedly from the Pascuals.

He said opposition councilors allied with former Mayor Maricel Natividad-Nagaño who form the majority in the city council, have been receiving death threats, with one allegedly being told "We will have a sample in one of you.".

However, Mayor Pascual called his alleged involvement in the San Jose killing as farthest from the truth,.

“If I ordered San Jose’s killing, what would I gain from it? In the first place, I am not the one to appoint his replacement. Secondly, they will remain the majority in the SP,” Pascual said.

“Also, if I would order such a dastardly act, why would I do that in my own backyard where I would get embarrassed? Common sense dictates I would do it somewhere else,” he added

The mayor has offered a P200,000 reward for the identification and arrest of the suspects

His father, Rodrigo, said the accusations against the mayor were politically initiated and are attempts to destroy him through black propaganda. ###

Jaen barangay chief attacked but survives

A 44-year old barangay captain in Jaen  was shot and wounded by two motorcycle-riding men last October 30.

Supt. Manuel Cornel, provincial police director, identified the victim as Wilson Baguisa Santos of Barangay Santo Tomas North.

The victim was alighting from his Toyota Innova in front of the barangay hall at 5:40 P.M. when attacked. He was hit in the shoulder.

He was rushed to Gonzales General Hospital in San Leonardo for emergency treatment.

The suspects fled towards the town proper. ###

Second police intelligence officer shot dead

A police intelligence officer was gunned down last October 17, the second such officer to be killed in the the province in less than a week.

Supt. Ponciano  Zafra, Cabanatuan City police chief, said the victim was PO1 Jayson Ramos, 28, detailed at the intelligence unit of the Gabaldon municipal police station.

The victim was driving home to Barangay Bakod aboard his motorcycle at about 11:30 P.M.when the suspects shot him, killing him immediately.

The killing of Ramos followed that of PO3 Michael Juan, 42, intelligence officer of the San Leonardo police station, who was killed while on his way to an anti-drug operation last October 13.

Found at the scene of Ramos' killing were caliber .45 shells and 13 packets of shabu. ###

Cabiao barangay kagawad shoots rival over teen-aged girl

A 35-year-old barangay kagawad in Cabiao allegedly shot and wounded a 44-year-old man after a fistfight on the night of October 20.

The suspect was identified as Barangay Kagawad Don Brian Clemente of Barangay San Juan South, while the victim was Felino Santiago alias Plo-plo of Barangay Bagong Buhay.

Investigators said the two first exchanged blows after a heated argument.

Afterwards, Santiago went home, took a bolo and proceeded to the suspect's apartment at 7:40 P.M.

Clemente, after seeing Santiago coming, armed himself with a pistol and shot the latter, hitting him in the abdomen.

The victim was rushed to Cabiao General Hospital while the suspect fled aboard his motorcycle.

The angle being looked into as motive is love triangle.

It was learned that the suspect's girlfriend, an 18-year-old girl from Pandayan, Barangay San Lorenzo, Gapan City is also reportedly being courted by the victim. ###

San Isidro drugstore robbed

The San Isidro branch of South Star Drugstore chain was robbed of about P300,000 in cash and other items

Supt. Steven dela Cruz, town police chief, said the robbery was discovered when the establishment along the Gapan-Olongapo Road in Barangay Poblacion opened at 6:30 A.M.

An employee discovered that the store's backdoor had been forcibly opened.

An inventory showed that the robbers carted away assorted items including the store's sales for one week amounting to about P300,000.

Investigation showed that the suspects entered the store by destroying the roof and ceiling, and the backdoor padlock before leaving. ###

2 Lupao boys drown in creek

Two elementary pupils drowned while bathing in a creek in Lupao last October 21.

Police identified the victims as John Rey Rodrigo, 7, and Ian Mark Capitan, both of Barangay Namulandayan.

PO1 Benjamin Dandan, officer-on-case, said the victims and their classmates were on their way home when they decided to bathe in the creek. The victims wandered to a deep part where they drowned.

Their bodies were recovered from the creek and brought to the Lupao Municipal Health Center where they were declared dead on arrival. ###

Man's body found beside irrigation canal

The body of a man believed to be a victim of summary execution was found beside an irrigation canal in Barangay Caalibangbangan, Cabanatuan City last October 28.

Supt. Ponciano Zafra, city police chief, said the body with several gunshot wounds was found along the Felipe Vergara Highway in Purok Embuscado at 6:30 A.M.

The body's face was wrapped with adhesive tape and the hands and feet tied with wire.

Recovered was a placard beside the body with the hand-written note saying "Tagahatid ng droga, huwag ako tularan, pusher ako. SPP", and two plastic sachets of shabu in the victim's pocket.

The victim was described as between 30 and 35 years old and wearing denim pants. Three tattoos were found on his right shoulder.

Recovered from the scene was a caliber 9mm. cartridge case. ###

2 men held for illegal drugs in  Aliaga

Two men riding a motorcycle were arrested at a police checkpoint in Aliaga after one yielded illegal drugs and the second tried to prevent his companion's arrest last October 22.

Sr. Insp. Wilson Kimmayog, chief of the Provincial Public Safety Company base in Bucot, Aliaga identified those arrested as Jess Lugod, 27, single, driver, of Urban Poor, Pur5ok 9, Barangay M.S. Garcia, Cabanatuan City and Ismael España, Jr., 24, back rider, of Purok 5, Barangay Bungahin, Baler, Aurora.

The two tried to evade a police checkpoint in Purok 5, Barangay Bucot at 4:55 P.M.

Initially, Lugod was arrested for not stopping at the checkpoint when he was seen without a helmet.

During inspection, a plastic sachet of illegal drugs was found on him.

España was arrested after he prevented the police officers from arresting Lugod. ###

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